1. When I make a left/right turn and I do not currently know the speed limit for that road, how fast should I go?
2. How lenient is the tester on the speed limit? Do I fail if I go even 1 over the speed limit? And how much under the speed limit can I go without failing?
Those are good questions.
When I make a left/right turn and I do not currently know the speed limit for that road, how fast should I go?
I run into this problem occasionally myself. Personally, I travel slowly until I finally see a speed limit sign. This might irritate other travelers, but being worried about the irritation of other travelers does not remove one's liability for a speeding ticket, etc.
The speed limit usually corresponds to the amount of danger points a road has (less space in lanes, less space between cars, less space between cars and sides of road, businesses with car entering and exiting, schools with kids running around, houses with kids or pets running around, driveways with cars entering or exiting, pedestrians crossing, sharp turns, blind spots). The more danger points, the slower the speed limit, and vice-versa. When turning from a road with less danger points onto a road with more, you can expect the speed limit to go down, and vice-versa.
You can take the high-tech route: some GPS devices tell you what the speed limit is on that road, so having one of them could eliminate this problem. (Taking your eyes off the road to look at them being a separate problem. I'm still waiting for them to become heads-up-displays on the windshield.)
How lenient is the tester on the speed limit? Do I fail if I go even 1 over the speed limit? And how much under the speed limit can I go without failing?
I couldn't find any information on leniency. I can't remember my driving test too well, it was about 20 years ago. And even then, they don't tell you what they are doing--just whether you pass or not. (I passed by being careful and even asking him questions when the right thing to do wasn't obvious.) I would assume that he is going to enforce the speed limit strictly according to your speedometer. (Or do they use their own these days?) Since your speedometer usually doesn't show the speed in exact digits, you will at least have that leeway to work with. Going 1mph over might not show well enough for him to see.
Regarding failure: I found evidence that these instructors use a point system, where each mistake costs a certain amount of points and you can't go over a certain amount. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any detailed information about their point system. Perhaps you could call your local unfriendly DMV and ask them? (Just assume that you are going to be talking to someone that is impatient and doesn't want to talk to you, but you might get the answer.)
Regarding driving under the speed limit: it isn't against the law to drive under the speed limit, and I'm pretty sure there are no minimum speed limits on the roads you will be tested on. (Minimum speed limits only exist on interstate highways so far that I know, and I've never heard of a driver's license road test going onto them.) I'd say you can be safe by traveling somewhere under the limit--just don't be causing a traffic jam by stopping in the middle of the road, and don't go way below the speed limit, like 5mph in a 25mph zone or something drastic like that. Assuming that you *have* to move at the speed limit is a common misconception. If he takes you onto a road with live traffic, then slowly approach the speed limit (or slightly under) to not disrupt the other traffic. Definitely don't go over the speed limit doing the "following the flow of traffic" thing, which *is* illegal and will get points against you.
Last edited by SafeTraveler on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:45 am; edited 1 time in total
Hello Naideck. Welcome here and best of luck with your driving test.
ST has already stressed some excellent points. I'd just like to add a few things to remember about turning:
- If you are turning left into another street, stay in the left lane or keep to the left side of the road. (for right turn, stay on right)
- As you approach the turning, slow down your speed.
- Keep a look out for pedestrians on the footpath as well as vehicles coming along the road on which you’re turning.
- Signal in advance, for at least three seconds. (If you are turning left, use left indicator. If turning right, use the right indicator)
- Turn when safe.
- Also, make sure you move into a similar position on the road you're turning into as your position on the road you've just left i.e. if you are on the left-hand side of the road, you should stay on the left-hand side of the road after you've turned.
Also, I took my driving test in uk, which is one of the hardest tests to clear and luckily I passed the first time. I remember on every road, I made sure I checked the speed limit and stuck to it - not slower nor faster - just the EXACT number. Like for 30, you stick to 30 and not 25. For turning, of course, you slow down much further. It is much better to stay on the slower side than faster for turning and the instructor should not fail you for that. What's more important is checking mirrors etc. before each maneuver.
My brother teaches drivers training. Just try to relax and follow the rules that you were taught. Sometimes the little things is what causes you to fail. Make sure you turn in the correct lanes, use your turn signals, stop the appropriate distant away, and watch your speed. You can do it, stay calm and confident and smile for your picture!
That's true ellaboswell. I only wish more people were as careful - unfortunately, they aren't.
Turning corners is tricky for new drivers and often, one of the places where most care should be taken. Not only is there risk of sudden oncoming traffic, but pedestrians too, so it is best to go slow and carefully check in all directions before turning.
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